tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera March 10, 2015 10:30am-11:01am EDT
underthree years of testing. it hopes to fair better than the 15 earlier lighter than air programs that were scrapped at a cost of nearly $7 billion. and a reminder there is plenty more news on our website, aljazeera.com. i managed to really memorize the features of the man that was actually the rapeist in the room with us. >> fran drescher not only survived rape. she helped bring her stacker to justice. the lesson she learned helped her cope with another trauma. she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. two years after she began feeling symptoms. >> you have to be able to transfer from being a patient into a medical consumer.
passivity. the cancer struck as her marriage to a gay man ending. >> the marriage was, you know, busted apart. and i was just very unhappy. it was like a perfect storm. >> best known for her role as the nanny, she talks about her lucky break on an airplane with an executive that led to the emmy award winning show. >> he was a captive audience. where was he going to go? coach? now, her first role on broadway starring as the wicked ? >> this is the first character i have ever played that really is kind of a mean character. i am usually like the hooker with the heart of gold. >> i spoke to her right before she went on stage in new york. >> you said that your life has been about turning negatives into positives. and you survived what had to have been one of the worst experiences that any woman could
go through. you told the story about you and your best friend being in your apartment, two brothers, breaking into your apartment. they raped both of you, and your husband at the time, peter, witnessed this. and those two men are in prison now. what you said in an interview to larry king was, with the rape, i mean i became a deeper, more compassionate person. i became a better actor. how so? >> well, you know, i am fortunate i am a creative person so i can take my pain and funnel those feelings into my work. and something really horrific like that happens to you, you can use it as an actor.
you become more sympathetic and empathetic to other people's pain. and such was the case for me. i was able to use it in my acting. and turn my pain into purpose and become someone who uses my life experience as well as my celebrity for the greater good. >> a number, you probably already know this number but out of every 100 rapes, only about 40 are reported. only about three rapist ever serve a day in jail. you did get justice, as i said. can you talk about what the processs was like for you to actually get justice, whatever that may mean for
you? >> i happened to be watching a morning talk show the week before. one of the guests was a detective that was talking about how witnesses or victims make the worst witnesses because they are usually so frightened that they don't pick up on the details that would help, you know, the police find, you know and apprehend the assailant and i remember that interview that very night when we were held hostage at gunpoint, and so i managed to really memorize the features of the man that was actually the rapist in the room with us.
and so, afterwards when it was time to speak to the police artist, i was the one who did it because i happen to have a photographic memory. and when it was done, it was like he had posed for it. there had been so many things going on my area that the police department for that community got funding to have a 3-night stakeout and if he hadn't reentered the neighborhood in those three nights, they might not have ever caught him. but he actually took my car and so the car was found in a neighborhood. in los
on the last night of the stakeout, they had unmarked cars with plain clothesmen and they saw a car sitting in front with the motor running with plates from where they found my car. so one detective called another and said i am looking at a suspicious car. it was a woman sitting behind the steering wheel. and then the man, the rapist, got into the car. and they started following him and just before he got on to the freeway, which was only a few blocks away from where i was living at the time, they pulled the car over, and he said, i didn't do anything but his fly was still unzipped and there was some poor woman's julys hanging out of his pocket, and they had the picture.
and, you know, they looked at him and they looked at the picture and they said, this is you. you are under arrest. we got the call that they had appear rehended someone and they had three school buses filled with witnesses and victims he was on parole at the time. and he said that he was on a rampage, and he was. so, he got, you know, like 150 years. he will never be out of prison. he will never be up for parole. >> think about how many people you saved. >> well, you know, bad things happen to good people. i speak openly about it because i think that is important for
victims to know you can move on with your life. it took me like a good year before i stopped feeling like a shad shattered mirror reflection of myself. but, you know, eventually, you pull yourself up, and you start all over again, and it becomes like a new normal. never what it was before. but, you know, whatever. it is what it is. you have to play the hand that is dealt you. and no one leaves this planet unscathed. so, you know, you just deal. >> do you deal with pain by using humor? >> i guess so because when i wrote by book, cancer samantha, it took me four drafts to find
my comedy voice. at that point, i was famous. people knew who i was, but it was a very cathartic experience because i had to keep reflecting back and expel my bitterness and anguish and start remembering everything else that was happening and reflect on the lifelessons that were gained by it and the ways that my life actually improved as a result of my survival. and that, side-by-side with pain, lies joy always, and so, you know, when you're grief stricken, you have to trust that there is something right there next to you that's joyful.
it's there and it behooves you to find it, to seek it out and look for it because, you know, when something bad happens, it is a slice of the pie, and you can easily make it could assume you, eat you up alive. and you can -- it's very hard to climb out of that pit. but if you really, you know, understand that it's not only just a slice of the whole pie of your life, but it's an opportunity for you to become a more refined version of yourself. so, you know, that's what i set forth to do once i was diagnosed with cancer because i had already been in extensive therapy as a result of the rape. and the series, the nanny, i wasn't totally -- i wasn't totally happy
with myself. >> with that success? >> right. so, i knew something was wrong because i had i had reached my stride. i had a beautiful home. i had a husband that loved me. but something was wrong. and which you scratch beneath the surface, i hadn't dealt with the pain. i was experiencing symptoms of gynecological cancer. it was fortuitous because the next year, i was diagnosed. this was like the last season of
"the nanny." i wasn't feeling well. the marriage was, you know, busted apart. and i was just very unhappy. but, you know, there are so many it was like a perfect storm from the gyneco logic cancer and the treatment of hormones to treat a benign condition that i never had, that was making me kind of whacky. and the pressure of the show and the marriage and confronting my -- i wasn't really in touch with myself and my need to always be perfect, the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect star, the perfect human being. everybody's caregiver, never a
taker, only a giver. >> what feel? >> i hit a brick brig walk and had a garden variety midlife crisis. >> which over the course of the years that followed, my cancer was diagnosed. peter and i divorced, but then he came out, which was such a relief to me because i felt guilty that i left him because i had never really done anything like that for myself at the else. i totally lived for everyone else's happiness, and even to this day i have to really, you know, i pat myself on the back. that was good, you know, it's equation. it's okay that you said, you know, that's not going to work for you. but it has been a
journey, and so, you know, peter and i are the other diddearest of friends. that was one of the silver linings of being diagnosed with cancer. when he got the call that i had cancer, he was living in new york. he could not get far enough away from me. i was still in l.a. and he burst into tears. and at that moment, all of his anger melted away and all that was left was the love. and he wanted to come and be with me. but i was already in love with someone else, and he was totally there for me. and he slept on a cot in the hospital and quit his job and moved in with me and took care of me and, you know, remember still good friends. and, you know, and now, i'm, you
know, madly in love with someone that accepts all of these past relationships and the good people that these men are and that -- we share a loving friendship even though they were never the one. >> this gentleman is. >> happily divorced. >> exactly. >> exactly. >> can you -- you are a health advocate particularly for women. can you talk a little bit more about what the really difficult process you went through of finally, being properly diagnosed? what can women learn from what you went through? >> you know, you should -- you have to be able to transfer from being a patient into a medical consumer. the very word "patient" i am
myself passivity. you cannot let yourself be intimnated by the doctor. if they don't give you the time you need, if they are not respectful you want a second opinion, you are not with the right doctor. always, when you suspect there is something seriously wrong, always go with somebody that's not going to fall apart or you are you have to worry about how they are handling this news, but they are actually going to be the strong one, going to ask the doctor how to spell things. you must be pro-active. you have to gather your posse around you, of strong and empowered people that are going to take the news, get out there and do some research, figure out what's available. who are the doctors that are leading in this field and then most people know someone that they can call to find out who thing. can you get me into this doctor? is there someone that can help
me? and, you know, you put one foot in front of the other. and you forge ahead. and so and on our website, cancer schmancer.org, i give at least 18 tips on what to do when you think there is something seriously wrong with you. >> coming up on "tack talk to al jazeera" fran drescher tells us about the work she is best
times" has this headline that says, "mary pop pins, she's not" as if they were surprised that your show was a hit. and in that same article, it talks about this encounter that you had on the plane. remember this? with the president of cbs? this is a quote. he says, you said this to him. you know, people don't understand because of the voice they think i am the seasoning in the show. >> that's wrong. i am a main course. one day, somebody is going to see that. one network is going to get lucky. you saw him on a plane. you ran to the bathroom. you put on make-up and you sat him. >> yeah. >> is that how this went? >> well, he was a fan of mine. i had done a short-lived series. then i did another pilot. several times but nothing really flew. we have a lot of pilot scripts. i am sure there is going to be
something for me. i said, you know, nothing's going to fit me hereand and glove because i am too off-beat. you have to listen to the ideas me and peter have. he was a captive audience. >> nine and a half hours later. de galle airport in paires, he said when we get back tola -- paris, he said call me up and i will set up with our person. yes really have the nanny idea in my head at the time. but i ended up with going to my girlfriend's house which was where it was connecting to. she forgot to mention she was going to be there with two screaming toddlers. i thought i would lose my mind. peter said, twicky, the only one
had called and invited me to visit her and her family in london. so, i said to my girlfriend in france, i have to get out of here. i love you, but this is no vacation. and i went to visit twiggy and her family and she and her husband started working. i started taking their school goals girls. she was a proper little british school girl. she was walking around, and she said, i found my new shoes. they are hurting me. i thought she wants me to take her home? step on the backs of them. she said that would break them. i said break them in. and i thought to myself, this is such a funny relationship because she -- i am not telling her what's good for her. i am telling her what's good for me and i -- the whole night, when i went to bed, 5:00 o'clock in the morning, it was still
early in l.a. because there was eight hours earlier. so, i called peter, and i said, you know, i think i have the idea that we should pitch to geoff. and i said what do you think about a spin on the sound of music only jullich andrews, i come to the door. things. he said that's it. >> that's the show. we are going to develop and pitch. nanny". >> your career is more than one role. you are on broadway right now playing the wicked stepmother. why that role? >> you know, this is the first character that i have ever played that really is kind of a mean character. i mean it was like the hooker with the heart of gold. >> i was really worried for steven during rehearsal. things. it's so awful. everybody is going to hate me. but slowly but surely through
the rehearsal process, i reinvented the character. i made her game russ and very self absorbed and fun to watch and someone you loved to hate. she comes around in the end. and softens a bit. >> not the same through the whole show. she grows. i was so thrilled to be offered, you know, in a rogers and ham style musical. i am not really a singer. this role happens to be the biggest speaking part and the smallest singing part. to be on broadway in such a classic tail in a rogers and ham stein musical, it's phenomenal. i am having such a large experience. it's one of the great highlights in my career. >> so is it actually fun getting to be the mean person? >> it's so fun. it's fun at the end, you know. the audience
is so grateful. well, i know that i am faring well out there and i am helping the show, you know, sell tickets and things and that's all marvelous because it's such a great company and such a beautiful production and music is so clever and funny and smart and sweeping and romantic and the new book for the story is really updated. the role of sinnederella, she grows into a very confident young woman who knows what she wants from her life. and it's the prince really that's kind of lost and misguided in such of a strong woman to help himself hellsrealize his true potential. so, i am happy to be part of this interpretation. the role, the female lead, much
stronger role model than the original grim fairy tale. we were creating the nanny. a broadway producer to pay homage to the great white way and tip our hats to that because the show took place in new york. we were shooting in california. and so we felt like what definitive manhattan experience broadway. >> still ahead, find out about fran drescher's next project.
what's next on your agenda? >> i am involved in development of another broadway show that i can't speak about yet, but it's going to be thrilling. >> that's as much as i can say but it's going to be a big deal. >> how gruelling of a schedule show? >> one of the stars is the hardest thing i have ever done.
i am a hard worker. i usually wear several hats and almost everything i do. but this, you can't really do anything else because for two solid hours, you are putting out a tremendous amount of energy to keep that audience engaged and reach out to that back row way up in the balcony. >> we know how busy you are. we appreciate your time.
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